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Google Strives for Transparency with Rebooted Ad Settings – Genevieve Dietz

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Google is giving us more control over data and ad targeting by launching a revamped version of Ad Settings. These new and improved controls allow us to curate our ad experiences by picking and choosing (and removing) which topics we want to see ads around.

Ad Settings was originally launched in 2009 as a single place for users to get an accurate read on ads. The new Ad Settings builds on what made the first edition so great by giving us new information about how our demographics, interests, and our browsing history factor into the ads we see everyday.

Ad Settings can also show you information from advertisers that partner with Google to show ads.

Let’s say you’re a horror fan and you frequently search for horror trailers on YouTube or Google search. Because of this activity, you’ll probably see some ads for horror movie tickets or rentals.

This information is made available to you in Google Ad Settings and you have the option to turn off ads related to horror or manage that specific interest.

Turning off a factor means you’ll no longer receive tailored ads related to it across our services, and on websites and apps that partner with us to show ads, as long as you’re signed in to your Google Account.

The ads you see can still be based on general factors, like the subject of what you’re looking at or the time of day, or any other factor that is still turned on.”

Google Improves Transparency

Google is also being more open about why users see the tailored ads they do by expanding ‘Why this ad?’ to all Google-partnered sites (including YouTube and Search). ‘Why this ad?’(originally launched in 2011) is a link feature that appears next to ads.

This clickable label helps users understand why certain ads are being targeted to them and where they came from.

For example, if a user wants to know why they are seeing so many ads for hotels in London, the feature will tell them it’s because they’ve either searched for London hotels, visited London tourism sites, or clicked on London hotel ads in the past.

The updated version of “Why this ad?” brings the link feature to Youtube, Google Play, and various other sites.

Before Ad Settings and “Why this Ad?,” ad targeting was a pretty foreign, and opaque topic for most users. Advertisers and brands were the only ones who had any semblance of control over ad delivery.

In recent years however, demand for digital transparency has grown and after the Cambridge Analytica data breach, that demand skyrocketed.

While consumers are usually okay with giving up some of their information to brands for things like quizzes, e-commerce, and other services, they still expect some level of transparency in regards to how their information is used for targeted ads.

Implications for Marketers

Ad Settings, and other ad controls, are not only beneficial for users, they’re important for marketers. Consumers are more likely to trust marketers who are open about their ad policies and how they collect data for targeting.

Brand transparency removes that cold sense of disconnect we, as users, sometimes feel when we hand off our information to companies who hide their intentions. We are much more likely to make persistent engagements with brands that are open and honest so, as marketers, we should strive to remove the veil of secrecy from our ad targeting methods.

Because these new Ad Settings allow consumers to be more proactive in the content marketing process, marketers will need to be hyper aware of the authenticity of their personalized marketing messages.

Personalized messages can also come across as creepy to consumers, almost like Big Brother is keeping tabs on them. This, of course, isn’t true but it’s important to be transparent and authentic anyway to keep from scaring off our audiences.

Doing this can also alleviate some of that coldness present in some marketing materials and attract new audiences looking for some honesty and warmth.

If everyone who read the articles and like it, that would be favorable to have your donations – Thank you.

 

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Everything I Taught You About SEO Was Wrong -Neil Patel

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Before I get into why everything I taught you about SEO was wrong, let me first give you some context on how I (and many marketers) became SEOs.

When I started off with my entrepreneurial journey, I didn’t have much money.

I was working at a theme park where I cleaned restrooms and picked up garbage.

Although most companies grow through paid ads, that just wasn’t possible for me because I was making $5.75 an hour.

I had no choice but to learn SEO and get good at it if I ever wanted my site to generate traffic and hopefully make money.

And just like most SEOs, I always thought that the keywords that people spend the most money on tend to convert well.

Just think about it: If a company is spending $50 a click for certain keywords they have to be making money.

So, wouldn’t those be the keywords that you would want to go after?

Here’s how I taught people how to do SEO over the years

Back in the day I would use keyword tools like Ubersuggest, find all of the high traffic keywords within my space that had a high cost per click, and write tons of blog posts on them.

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And then I would go to Ahrefs to look at all of my competitors, see what their most popular pages were, look at their traffic value number, and, of course, write longer versions of their post that were better so I could take over their rankings and traffic.

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By using these 2 tactics your traffic would grow over time.

Extremely fast too if you could crank out the content fast enough… just look at my search traffic per month over the years.

(Yes, there is more to SEO than these two tactics, but they work really well.)

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Can you guess how much more revenue I’ve generated as my search traffic grew?

Well, according to SEMrush, the search traffic that I generate in the United States alone is worth $1.2 million.

traffic cost

If I had to buy all of that traffic, it would cost me $1.2 million a month in pay per click fees.

That’s crazy considering that traffic generated me $408,000 in revenue last month (not profit… revenue).

And if you go back a year ago, I had 340,268 visitors a month from Google and that traffic generated $362,495 last year.

In other words, I grew my search traffic by 123% while my revenue only grew by 12.5%… not a good deal.

Luckily for me, I didn’t have to spend $1.2 million to generate that traffic but there are costs involved as SEO takes time and resources.

Now, let’s look at my buddy’s site, Legion Athletics.

He’s in the B2C world and is selling fitness supplements. His traffic is only up 3% from last year.

traffic growth

But his revenue has grown by 44% because he is focusing on traffic that is causing sales. In other words, he no longer cares to increase his total traffic, he only cares to increase the traffic that is generating sales.

Neil, you must have known better!

Why yes, I did know that growing my search traffic by double, triple or even 10x wouldn’t grow my revenue at the same pace.

I’ve been doing SEO for over 16 years now… it took me a while to learn this, but not that long. 😉

See, with my business, my ideal customer is a large corporation who already has been doing marketing for many years.

That doesn’t mean I can’t help and won’t help small businesses… I just prefer the larger ones because they have much bigger budgets.

For me to continually grow my traffic at a rapid pace I have to go after newbie terms, such as how to get indexed in Google. But traffic from those kinds of posts won’t convert visitors into customers.

These newbie terms make up over 81% of my search traffic, but I go after them because I believe in branding and the long play (the rule of 7, which I’ll go into later in this post).

And I have multiple business units/revenue streams, so I am willing to spend capital to generate brand awareness that may pay off 5 or 10 years from now.

But, I never taught you how to think about SEO from a strategy standpoint because it’s much more complex than just ranking for highly sought after key terms.

Why doesn’t more traffic equal more sales?

To rank really well on Google, you have to write long-form, informational articles. It’s why Wikipedia ranks for everything.

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This doesn’t mean you can’t rank product pages (ecommerce) or lead generation pages high up in Google, it’s just harder. Much, much harder.

Now let’s do a quick Google search. Let’s search for the term, “auto insurance.”

According to Ubersuggest, the keyword gets 201,000 searches a month in the United States and companies pay $63.15 per click when it comes to PPC ads.

Here’s a screenshot of the Google search results page that I see, searching from Las Vegas, Nevada.

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And here’s what the first paid ad from AAA looks like:

AAA insurance

And here’s what the top organic listing from Nationwide looks like:

nationwide

Do you see why the AAA version would generate more sales?

Their landing page is simple and clear. You just choose the insurance option and you are off to the races.

But obviously, that page would never rank organically because there is little to no text. Seriously, there is nothing on it… they are barely giving Google any information.

The average web page that ranks on page 1 of Google contains 1,890 words. From what I counted, the AAA landing page has 73 words. It’s a bit far off from the 1,890 number. 

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And the Nationwide example has so much text on the other hand.

So much so, Nationwide will still generate sales, but nowhere near the percentage of that AAA PPC landing page.

Does this mean you shouldn’t do SEO?

I’m not saying that SEO is useless.

I am just saying that it won’t ever convert as well as paid advertising because you have to please the user and Google when it comes to SEO. That means your pages will be text heavy and won’t focus as much on closing the sale.

I know they say SEO traffic has more trust, so it converts better… but you have to keep in mind that an SEO landing page can’t be optimized for conversions as aggressively as a paid landing page.

Hence Google makes over $100 billion a year (mainly from paid ads).

Sure, the text on your SEO landing page or blog post could be persuasive and salesy, but if it was purely salesy you wouldn’t rank high on Google organically.

So, if I had to teach you SEO again from the beginning, I would take a different approach.

I wouldn’t tell you to do paid advertising or to ignore SEO. And I wouldn’t teach you any tactics at first.

Instead, I would teach you marketing strategy at the beginning, which would lead you to a more successful SEO campaign.

I would tell you to first set up your conversion tracking in Google Analytics.

Once you have your goals set up, I would have you log into your Google Analytics, click on your site, in the left sidebar click on “Conversions > Goals > Overview.” There you can then see where your conversions are coming from.

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By knowing where your sales are coming from, you can focus on marketing efforts that are working and stop the ones that aren’t.

Then I would teach you how to go one step further by finding out the exact pages that are driving you new search visitors that are converting into sales. (If you aren’t sure how to do that, follow this tutorial.)

Now that you know what pages are driving your sales, you should then focus all of your SEO efforts on first optimizing those pages. I know this won’t get you the most traffic, but it will bring you the highest amount of sales.

And you don’t have to implement 100 different SEO tweaks to optimize the pages that are driving your sales.

Start off by following this one SEO hack that I describe in the video below. (It will provide a nice boost and it’s easy to implement.)

And once you implement my Google Search Console tactic, I would then have you work on more advanced SEO techniques.

Conclusion

The chances are you are like me and have made the mistakes above.

I know this because you are reading this blog, and I’ve spent the majority of my time blogging on tactics instead of teaching you strategy.

SEOs are brainwashed from day one… they are taught that higher rankings and traffic are the most important things.

In reality, more revenue is what’s really important… that’s why PPC experts have the correct mindset. They optimize for revenue, sales, leads, and ROI instead of pure traffic.

At my agency, our VP of Marketing Services, Todd, keeps telling the team we need to focus on ROI.

Even though our team averages more than 100% increase in search traffic within the first 6 months, Todd cares more about revenue. If you can’t provide an ROI in the long run, it doesn’t matter how high you rank a site. Period!

Now, if your traffic keeps growing, but your revenue isn’t, all hope isn’t lost. You’ll have to be a bit more aggressive with your marketing, especially when it comes to conversion optimization.

If everyone who reads our articles and like it , that would be favorable if you send us your donations…THANK YOU

How to Use Google Analytics to Measure and Improve Your Content Marketing – Neil Patel

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Google Analytics offers incredible reporting features at absolutely no cost.

I know Google Analytics isn’t the easiest tool in the world to navigate.

All of the reporting options quickly become overwhelming.

Don’t worry. You don’t need to be an expert to master Google Analytics.

I’m going to share my insights with you on how this stuff works.

I’ll help you become enough of a pro to navigate all of the key features for your content marketing needs.

Our goal here is mastery without the complexity.

First, let’s discuss why you should take the time to learn and use Google Analytics for content marketing.

Why is Google Analytics important for content marketing?

The point of data is to help guide your decisions as a content marketer.

Google has collected a vast amount of data about your business and your customers.

And by signing up for a free Google Analytics account, you can turn that wealth of data into actionable information.

This can show you how your content marketing strategy is performing and which specific areas you can improve.

And it can help you answer some of the following key questions:

  • Are my current content marketing efforts effective?
  • What are some quick wins for content marketing that I’ve been missing?
  • Where are my “leaking pages,” and how can I fix them?
  • What do my trends look like?
  • Am I getting better or worse at content marketing?
  • Which types of content are most effective at building traffic? What about converting customers?
  • What are some worthwhile content marketing gaps I’ve been missing?

The more data you have, the better equipped you are to make decisions about your overall content marketing strategy as well as your next campaign.

Here’s an example of a solid marketing strategy using Analytics:

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You can see how it’s a very methodical approach using reporting and measurements of success.

This means that when you try something new, and it doesn’t work out as planned, it’s much easier to figure out why.

It gets rid of the need for “guess and check.”

You can analyze exactly where your traffic comes from, what your visitors are like, and how they engage with your website.

You can understand exactly how effective your marketing efforts are and if they’re providing a return on investment.

You can also easily pinpoint ways to improve your strategy even when you’re already performing well.

There’s always room for improvement.

So let’s talk about how we take this massive amount of data inside Google Analytics and turn it into valuable, actionable information.

Make sure you’ve set up goals

I’ve talked about this subject a few times, but it’s worth repeating.

Google Analytics offers lots of tools to track your business’s performance.

However, to get the most out of them, you need to customize them for your business.

Setting goals is a perfect way to begin your customization process.

There are four different types of goals you can use to track your content marketing results:

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If you’re not familiar with how to set up goals for your site, Google Analytics will walk you through it.

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It’s important to set up goals so that you can see whether your efforts are actually resulting in what matters to your business.

1. Utilize on-site search queries

It’s easy for a website to quickly become huge.

After all, an e-commerce site can have hundreds of product pages.

Add a blog onto that, and you can see how a site can become enormous.

After all, the current recommendation is to publish at least 16 blog posts a month.

That’s a lot of content!

When someone has that much information in front of them, how are they ever going to find what they’re searching for if they didn’t land on it directly from Google?

One of the best ways to help your visitors and keep them on your site is to provide a search bar.

This not only helps your audience but also provides you with valuable data.

Google Analytics helps you tap into this data through their on-site search terms report.

With this report, you can easily review which keywords people are searching for on your site.

Then, you can compare this info with the keywords you’ve been targeting.

It’s possible that you have relevant content that you should update to include this new keyword.

Or, maybe you’ll discover a gap in your content.

This will help you find out what additional content you can create to build more engagement and drive more traffic.

After all, you know your target audience is already looking for it.

Another possibility is that you see high traffic to a particular page within your internal search.

You can use that knowledge to do any of the following:

  • Target those pages with campaigns, especially if they’re also converting well.
  • Link the high-traffic page to some of your lower-performing pages to boost their traffic.
  • Restructure your site to make these pages easier to find. For example, you could turn them into featured posts.

How to check for on-site searches

Log into your Google Analytics account. On the left-hand side under “Behavior” reports, go to “Site Search” and then “Search Terms.”

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This will bring up a dashboard that shows you all of the search terms that visitors have completed on your site.

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It will provide information about the number of unique searches and your exit-rate percentage.

A high exit rate may indicate that the current content coming up for that search term isn’t what users are looking for.

2. Check your mobile strategy

People are using their mobile devices more and more every day.

With that in mind, you should plan for your mobile visitors.

But you can’t just implement without checking to see if it’s working or not.

Log into your Google Analytics account and look under the “Audience” section on the left-hand sidebar. Locate the “Mobile” tab.

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Expand it and select “Overview.”

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This will allow you to see how your site is performing on mobile devices.

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And if you’ve set up a goal that relates to mobile traffic or mobile conversions, you can pull it into this report as well.

On the far right-hand side, select a goal completion for Google Analytics to display next to your mobile performance breakdown.

Then you can see your conversion rates and total goal completions for any given time period.

If the mobile version of your site is performing poorly compared to your desktop version, it could mean that your site isn’t optimized for mobile.

And since Google has already begun mobile-first indexing, if your site doesn’t perform well on mobile devices, the effectiveness of your content marketing will be impacted.

Make sure you drill into the mobile report to see traffic and conversions across mobile devices.

This will tell you if you have a mobile-wide issue or if your site is just poorly-optimized for one operating system.

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If it’s mobile-wide, you will need to optimize your site for all mobile queries and devices.

If, on the other hand, it’s simply one operating system or one version of one operating system, the fix will depend on your site development and the OS changes.

3. Optimize your site speed

According to Google, the majority of sites are too slow, regardless of industry.

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The current ideal benchmark is three seconds for page speed loading time, yet most sites are above the nine-second mark.

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This is important to recognize for two reasons:

  1. Speed directly impacts your bounce rate, as can be seen in the image above.
  2. Google announced that page speed will be a ranking factor in mobile search as of July 2018.

Having a slow site can kill your chances of ranking in SERPs and tank your traffic.

But before you can try to fix the problem, you first need to be able to diagnose it.

Not every page on your site will take the same time to load.

Using Google Analytics, you can pinpoint the specific pages on your site that need the most improvement.

This way you can save time and gain some quick wins by targeting your slowest, top-performing pages first.

How to monitor page speeds

Log into Google Analytics, and under Site Speed, select Page Timings.

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This report quickly shows you all of your pages on-site, grouped by page load time.

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You can then analyze to see the specific pages in each bucket.

Want more advice on how to improve slow pages?

Back in the left-hand menu, also under Site Speed, is a Speed Suggestions report.

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This will give you some specific suggestions you can implement to improve your speed.

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Google also offers another tool, PageSpeed Insights, for even more free help in optimizing your page speeds.

4. Understand your customers

Understanding your customers helps you personalize your content for them.

68% of firms have already made personalized experiences a business priority.

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Why?

Well, it’s a great way to increase revenue and profits by tapping directly into your customer’s wants and needs.

You can start to understand your customers better with Google Analytics’ Affinity reports.

How to view your affinity reports

Open Google Analytics and check out your left-hand menu.

Under the Audience section, you will find the Affinity Categories report.

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This report helps you analyze common buyer trends.  2018 03 03 21 24 05 Google Analytics Demographics and Interest Reports dcarlbom.com

Check out which affinity groups have high traffic and low bounce rates or high conversions on your site.

You may find that you do really well with a group you never expected to target, such as TV Lovers.

This knowledge can help with future content marketing and ad campaigns.

Another report to help you understand your customer base is the Audience Data report.

How to view audience reports

This time under the Audience section, you’re going to select Overview rather than Affinity.

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This is a broad overview.

It doesn’t go into a huge amount of depth about your customers, but it helps target some general areas that may be of interest, such as language, device, and location.

If most of your users are from the US, or even from within a few states in the US, that information can be very helpful for marketing.

You can further analyze your customers by adding some additional demographic and interest data.

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Demographics give you customer information such as age range and gender.

Interests are exactly what they sound like. This report tells you some of the things your customers are generally interested in.

You can then take all this information and combine it to build customer personas for marketing.

5. Focus on searcher intent

Searcher intent simply means the reason for why someone performed a search.

There’s a pretty old, but still accurate article that breaks searcher intent into three broad categories:

  1. Navigational intent – when a searcher is seeking a specific site such as Facebook or Amazon.
  2. Informational intent – when a searcher is looking for answers or researching a specific topic.
  3. Transactional intent – when a searcher is ready and looking to have a transaction such as “best Chicago pizza near me” or “how to check in for a Southwest flight.”

Of course, this doesn’t cover everything, and people may not also neatly fall into just one category.

However, it’s a great way to start understanding who is coming to your site and why.

You can begin to understand the intent of your traffic by looking at the Overview of Acquisition report in Google Analytics.

How to check you acquisition overview

In the left-hand menu, under Acquisitions, select Overview.

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In this report, you want to focus on organic traffic. The other results could be skewed by promotions and other marketing efforts.

If you click on the word “Organic Search,” it will provide you will additional information:

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Now you can see a breakdown by keywords searched.

It shows you a vast amount of data, including highest volume, bounce rates, and average pages per session.

You can then use this information in your next content marketing campaign.

For instance, are you receiving a lot of traffic for informational intent searches but not transactional intent?

This could mean you need to boost your conversion efforts and your marketing towards bottom-of-the-funnel searchers.

6. Visualize your traffic funnel

A typical conversion funnel used to look like this:

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Now, it’s more like this:

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Add in the quirks of individual customers, and the ways users can escape a funnel, and it gets even more complex.

This is why being able to visualize your actual site funnel can help you understand how well your content marketing strategy is working.

It can help you understand which site pages correlate well with each funnel stage. It also helps pinpoint which paths convert well and which ones need work.

This Funnel Visualization report is in the Conversions section of Google Analytics.

It’s important to note that this report only works if you have already set up some conversion or sales goals in Google Analytics.

How to visualize your funnel

Under conversions, select Goals, and then Funnel Visualization to see the report.

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Then select your relevant conversion/sales goal at the top of the table:

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Now the report will show you a visual representation of what that sales funnel looks like:

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As you can see in the example above, it will show you specific pages that Google Analytics believes line up to each funnel stage based on customer activity.

Another way to look at your funnel is through Sequential Segments.

How to use Sequential Segments

This is a type of advanced segment that can be used for measuring a sequence of user actions.

For example, a sequence could be landing on a blog page, clicking a CTA button on it which goes to the contact page, and then submitting the requested opt-in form.

You can create segments to report on just like you create goals to measure against.

Go to the Admin section:

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Then on the far-right, under personal tools, select Segments:

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Select New Segment.

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Then choose Sequences under the Advanced options.

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Now you create the funnel steps or customer actions that you want to track by inputting the path.

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These can be useful to help understand user behavior for different lead pages.

It can also help identify which of your blog posts lead to the most conversions.

7. Focus on your current traffic sources

There are a lot of different possible traffic channels these days.

Search engines, PPC ads, social media, and direct search are just a few.

Where your traffic is coming from may affect how they are engaging with your site and your content.

You can use the Google Analytics Source/Medium report to see how many sessions you have by each source.

It can also tell you valuable data like the number of new users and bounce rate.

How to view your traffic by source

Back to that left-hand menu, under the Acquisition section, go to All traffic and the Source/ Medium.

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You’ll see a report showing you a summary of interactions by source.

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You can also add in secondary dimensions such as Acquisition behavior to make the data more meaningful.

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For example, you can see all traffic from Google that was organic only (removing Google PPC ads).

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Now you can easily see what referral traffic or traffic types drive visits to specific landing pages.

This helps you target the platforms that are driving the most traffic to your site.

8. Pinpoint high traffic, low engagement pages

High traffic is a good thing, right?

What if you have a ton of traffic coming to your site and then just leaving again?

Is it still good?

Traffic without engagement or conversions is ultimately useless.

Don’t worry though, if you’ve already successfully gained the traffic, then you’ve won half the battle.

Pinpointing those pages which are high traffic, low engagement is a great potential quick win for boosting conversions.

There are a few ways to do this, but one I like to use is the comparison feature in Google Analytics.

How to find high traffic, low conversion pages

Just go to Behavior, then Site Content and Landing Pages on the left-hand menu.

This will bring up all of the pages people land on within your site.

Then you can use the comparison feature on the right-hand side of the screen.

You can select a Goal Conversion Rate if you have one set, or you can choose Bounce Rate from the drop-down menu:

This will allow you to compare conversions or bounces across all pages.

You can easily sort by the ones with the highest number of sessions to find the high traffic, low engagement pages, so you know where to focus your efforts.

If you want, you can also narrow your results down even further.

For example, you can reduce the search to show only your blog pages.

It’s easy to do this using the search function within the report.

Now you know which pages to target to improve your conversions.

9. Know when you should publish content

Exactly when you publish your content matters.

There have been many studies done on when the best day of the week and the best time of day is, across all platforms.

The Best Time to Post on Instagram Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Pinterest and Google Infographic

But just because a study says it’s the best time on average, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the best time for your audience or your business.

Thankfully, Google Analytics can help answer this.

First, they provide a simple heat map right on the homepage for you.

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The second option is to use Google Analytics custom reports to create your own. The benefit of this option is that it allows you to customize the variables.

How to set this up

First, go into the custom reports section of Google Analytics and choose a new custom report.

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Choose the “flat table” option.

Then add in the dimensions “Day of Week Name” and “Hour,” and then any additional relevant metrics you want.

For example, you might want to include the volume of sessions.

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You can also add things like Source/Medium to narrow it down to organic sessions, or Device type if you want to separate mobile from desktop.

Once down, Save and export your data to Excel.

Make sure that you choose “show rows” in the bottom right-hand corner of your screen.

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Then, within Excel, you can use the pivot table option to begin to turn the data into a heat map.

Make your columns the Day of the week, your Rows the Hours. Then your Values should be whichever metrics you chose, such as Sessions.

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Once you have the pivot table, you can use some conditional color formatting to make it look like a heat map.

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This gives you a quick and easy way to see when your visitors are checking out your site.

If you find traffic is heaviest between 10 am and 1 pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays, then you should target publishing your content on those mornings, before 10 am.

10. Track your ROI

I’m guessing that you’re not just doing content marketing for the fun of it.

That means you have a goal in mind. Something you want to get out of your effort.

So how do you know that your content marketing strategy is paying off?

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Google Analytics can help you track your ROI.

Remember back at the beginning, when we set up goals?

Now it’s time to use them to help measure your return on investment.

How to measure your ROI

First, you want to check out your reverse goal path.

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You may want to add an additional filter such as “/blog” to narrow it down to only blog posts.

Then you can sort by Goal Completions.

Now you can see which blog posts have resulted in the most conversions.

You need to download this data into Excel or as a .CSV file.

Next, download your pageview data to determine your conversion rate.

You can obtain this by going to Content, Site Content, and then All Pages.

If you filtered your Goal, you need to filter this data in the same way.

For instance, filter with “/blog” to get only blog posts.

Again, you need to download the data as a spreadsheet.

Then copy and paste it into a new column in your first spreadsheet.

Now you can get your conversion rate by dividing the data in the “conversions” column (Col B) by the number in the “unique pageviews” column (Col C).

The result is now your conversion rate per page or blog post.

It should look like this:

content return 568x90

You can easily see which posts are performing well and which ones aren’t.

This can help you discover which topics are trending or which pages seem to be better optimized for conversions.

Of course, in order to also bring in your ROI, you need to factor in money.

For example, you need to include how much you’ve invested in each post and how much money each conversion has been worth.

Understandably, this is where it gets more complicated.

One way to track conversion dollars is to put tags on your leads based on which posts they came from.

You can do this with UTM parameters.

If you use an email marketer such as ConvertKit, they offer an easier way.

They let you automatically tag any leads who come through a certain form.

Simply make forms slightly different across your pages.

That way, if a form is attached to a single blog post, you know that any leads with that tag came from that blog post.

Tagging leads to track conversions 568x259

All you need to do is integrate them with your Analytics and email marketing platform.

Again, most platforms have these features built in, but you can also build your own integrations with Zapier.

Now, you have full visibility of your content marketing ROI and can understand exactly which posts are worth paying to promote and which ones need to be refreshed or optimized.

Conclusion

Google Analytics holds a crazy amount of data about your website.

Google has done all of the work to gather it and update it constantly. And it’s all there, free for you to use.

It’s important to make use of what Google Analytics offers.

If you don’t measure your content marketing strategy, you will have a very hard time knowing what is and isn’t working.

First, to get full use out of Google Analytics, make sure you take the time to set up some goals for your site so that you can track the things most important to your business.

Then you can use these ten report options for measuring how well your strategy is doing and pinpointing ways to make it even better.

You can use reports such as on-site queries, customer reports, searcher intent, and traffic reports to get to know your customers better.

You can also use reports such as mobile and speed checks, time for publishing, and ROI to understand how to optimize your content strategy.

What’s your favorite Google Analytics report for tracking your content marketing efforts?

If everyone who reads our articles and likes it, helps fund it, our future would be much more secure by your donations – Thank you.

How To Transform Learning with Google Tools – Miguel Guhlin

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Teachers often struggle during professional development sessions, wondering how to make connections between how-to at the workshop and classroom learning. Diana Benner, Peggy Reimers, and I did some napkin PD planning and came up with a solution.

Here’s a chance to get hands-on Google experience with six different project stations that offer the opportunity to explore lesser-known Google tools. These tools enhance critical thinking, communication, creativity, and collaboration.

Developing PD on a napkin with Diana Benner, Peggy Reimers, and Miguel Guhlin. Let’s explore these ideas in more detail.

Essential Elements

Before we jump into the project stations, let’s review a few components common to each. Each project station includes three components:

  • Explore
  • Adapt/Create
  • Share

In the Explore portion, participants develop background knowledge in the key concept shared. In the Adapt/Create, they make connections between their own experiences as learners. Two ways to accomplish this include adapting an existing work in light of new information. The second way is to create a new product. After they create or adapt, they share that online with a global audience. An additional component is listing what Google tools will be used.

Project Station #1: Inquiry-Based Learning Developers

In this station, participants will explore inquiry-based learning (IBL). Why continue to introduce IBL in professional learning? IBL creates engagement in both teachers and learners. Research has shown it has several benefits. It can:

  • Boost students’ learning in inter-disciplinary studies
  • Motivate students to learn, developing flexible, real-life, problem-solving strategies
  • Deepen critical thinking skills
  • Use of knowledge in new areas (Source)

Learning to ask the right questions and then finding answers that work remain critical to the work of educators and their students. To that end, it’s important to scaffold the use of IBL in the context of modern tools. Not unlike Dr. Bernie Dodge’s and Tom March’s webquest activity, new approaches adapt IBL for modern technology.

  • Explore: In this station, participants are given twenty minutes.
  • Adapt/Create: Participants, having explored hyperdoc exemplars, rely on a template to develop their own hyperdoc.
  • Share: Participants share their hyperdoc creation or modification with others via a sharing space, such as Google Forms tied into a Google Sheet or link their hyperdoc in an existing Google Doc created for that purpose.
  • Tools: Google Docs, Google Slides

Project Station #2: Research Explorers

One of the first uses of the internet for teachers involves encouraging students to use it for research. It’s important to clarify expectations for research-based activities. While research should be embedded in the context of an inquiry-based learning lesson, some additional expectations can be set. Students can be expected to:

  • Craft a research question
  • Locate and gather appropriate sources
  • Consider and assess the quality of the sources
  • Seek patterns in the data
  • Develop a position about the research

Given that the internet is a deep ocean of information, it’s important to assist students to engage in content curation using frameworks like the Big 6, Super 3, and Universal Design for Learning (UDL). While there are many online research tools that could be introduced, one of note is Google Scholar.

“I usually start with Google Scholar or Google just to figure out what the topic is. Once I have a better idea, I’ll go deeper,” says Leslie Harris O’Hanlon. “For example, if it’s a history paper, I’ll use the online library catalog, or sometimes there are e-books online through the university” (Source).

  • Explore: Participants experience the power of Google Scholar as a tool to find journals, save document sources in a personal space, and obtain citations. First, participants go through the process of developing a research question using the infographic from UC San Diego Library as a guide. Then they complete the steps.
  • Adapt/Create: Participants begin with a general topic, then narrow the topic down with How and Why questions, not unlike what is shown in the image below:
  • Share: Once participants have identified a topic using Google Scholar to identify research and information, they can create a Google Slides PDF ebook or Google Docs.
  • Tools: Google Scholar, Google Docs ePub export or Google Slides PDF ebook

Project Station #3: Multimedia Tour Builders

Mix up learning for your students. Create engaging and relevant learning experiences for students with Google Tour Builder. Better yet, turn students loose to create their own multimedia tours of relevant content. Tour Builder enables students to create a virtual tour of their research data, adding photos, text, and video as needed. This map-based approach enables students to organize their research according to location and impact, which is appropriate for various topics. Students combine research, life stories, images, and video to make a compelling case for their research thesis.

  • Explore: Encourage participants to explore existing Google Tours available and then reflect on how current content in their curriculum goals could be aligned.
  • Adapt/Create: Using a simple storyboard template, participants use Google Tour Builder to create a multimedia tour relevant to an area of study.
  • Share: Once participants have completed their tour, they make it available via a Google Form or common space or backchannel (e.g. Tozzl in lieu of Padlet).
  • Tools: Google Tour-Builder, Maps 3D

Project Station #4: Toontastic Reporters

Whether you have students synthesizing information from a variety of sources and then reporting it in front of a green screen (read tips about setting up your own inexpensive green screen, as well as see examples) or creating reports with Toontastic, students can learn quite a bit. Putting students in the role of journalists has a powerful impact on their own ability to curate and construct knowledge. Consider the following benefits:

  • Students develop the critical thinking skills needed to be smarter, frequent, transliterate consumers (and creators) of information
  • Students learn to tell between fact and opinion
  • Learners explore how to become better-informed citizens and voters (Source: The News Literacy Project)

One approach to achieve this involves presenting a problem and then inviting students to create a report that presents facts.

Wait, There’s More

Ready to get going with these project stations? Consider adding two more, if time allows. Two more final project stations include casting teachers in the roles of Flipped Learning Creators and Digital Breakout Artists.

In the former, flipped learning is explored. Participants learn to create screencasts, embed assessments with EdPuzzle, or engage in post-reflection activities with Google Forms. In the Digital Breakout Artists project station, participants learn how to create engaging activities that involve clue finding and problem solving.

If everyone who reads our articles and likes it, helps fund it, our future would be much more secure by your donations – Thank you.

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